Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
High-Low is a training exercise we use, often in
conjunction with Yakusoku Kumite and 3-Point Arm Training, and
it shares some of the characteristics of both.
A. Builds eye-hand coordination:
As you become more proficient with rapid blocking exercises
like High-Low, you will instinctively block an incoming attack
before youre aware of its existence.
(While walking down the street, minding your own business, the
thought arises: Why is my arm in the air? Oh, I just blocked
a punch to my head.)
sense of Ma-ai:
Along with regular practice of Yakusoku Kumite and Bunkai, repetition
of High-Low develops good awareness of effective distancing.
After all, most people stand too far away from their opponent
to effectively strike them. High-Low shows you how close you
have to stand to drive a punch through your opponent.
C. Overcome blinking:
The natural instinct is to blink and/or flinch when attacked
by a technique to the face. However, this blinking prevents
you from seeing the technique precisely when you need to most,
and thereby degrades your ability to defend effectively. The
High-Low Training Exercise, helps overcome this blinking instinct,
enabling you to keep the eyes open, to see the attack fully,
and thereby to block it efficiently.
practice keeping your eyes open as your partner punches at your
face, substituting that instinct keeping your eyes open
as it approaches; for the inborn one which is blinking.
lines, the same instinct holds for baseball hitters too. Again,
their natural instinct is to blink as the pitched ball approaches.
However, it is said that the great hitters are able to actually
see the stitching on the ball as it approaches, and therefore
its rotation, so great is their concentration and focus.
forearms, as does Tanren kumite.
Both hands punch, from the pocket, using full extension toward
the target. Only one hand blocks against each punch, in sequence.
And both the high block and the chest block are made by the
ulnar surface of the blocking arm.
Start slowly and build the pace gradually, until the punches
become a blur. Each time you inevitably lose the rhythm and
have to stop, just start again, building from slow to a blur.
Eventually, build the amount of time where you and your partner
maintain the blur.
Squat opposite your partner in Jigotai-dachi. Deshi #1 punches
with right hand to nose, while #2 blocks with left hand (ulna
up). Immediately, 1 punches with left hand to stomach, while
2 blocks with LEFT hand (ulna down). 2 punches with right hand
to nose, while 1 blocks with left hand. 2 punches with left
hand to stomach, while 1 blocks with LEFT hand. Repeat.
important that there be no pause between any technique. Each
one follows immediately. Again, both hands punch, right then
left, while only the left hand blocks (like a window wiper.)
Then, do the exercise with the left hand punching to the nose,
right hand punching to the stomach; while the right hand does
all the blocking.
2. Standing position:
Take a passive stance*, both of you standing with
your left foot forward, hands in fighting position.
#1 punches with right hand to nose, while #2 blocks with left
hand. (Neither steps, keep your feet planted.) Immediately,
1 punches with left hand to stomach, while 2 blocks with LEFT
hand. 2 punches with right hand to nose, while 1 blocks with
left hand. 2 punches with left hand to stomach, while 1 blocks
with LEFT hand. Repeat.
stance is not a Shorin-Ryu stance, but rather one we adopt
for convenience during certain training exercises.
This standing version, as opposed to the more static, squatting
version, will take on a more flexible, almost tree-swaying-in-the-wind
effect as each attacker in turn leans in (again, no stepping,
keep the feet planted) to punch the face and then leans back
to block his partners punch to his own face. This is a
slight movement, but should not be exaggerated.
Then, do the exercise standing with the right foot forward,
the left hand punching toward the nose, right hand punching
toward the stomach; while the right hand does all the blocking.
with it, almost like a game of tag. And as always with karate,
no ego, just work with your partner to make each other better.
Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Kyoshi David Baker,
Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu Karate USA
founded by Grand Master Ansei Ueshiro
under the direction of Hanshi Robert Scaglione